Students will use app with no cost to them rather than clickers, starting summer
Starting this summer, students will be swapping their clickers for their smartphones, laptops and tablets as the University makes the transition from student response system Turning Technologies to Poll Everywhere, which can be used as an app.
The Clicker Evaluation committee, a group of 40 faculty, staff and student representatives, announced the decision on Feb. 17.
UNC Charlotte used Turning Technologies for six years until the company decided to change their pricing model, which forced students to purchase a license along with their clicker. Students who already had paid for a clicker would have to pay $30 a year and students who didn’t have a clicker would have to pay $59 for the clicker and license bundle.
After this change, a lot of faculty chose to use free technology, such as Kahoot, but it’s not secure, according to Senior Instructional Technologist Bruce Richards.
The Clicker Evaluation Committee began investigating different vendors in October.
Richards said they chose Poll Everywhere because students wouldn’t have to pay for a license or be dependent on a “dumb device,” such as a clicker.
“If I buy an Amazon Fire, that’s $50 and that Amazon Fire I can use not only on campus for every class, but I can use at home, I can read a book, I can surf the web, what have you. Now I have a device that is so much all reaching as against a ‘dumb device’ that serves one purpose: to answer a question for a particular software,” Richards said.
Periodically, the University will reflect on their current technology to ensure they’re using optimal, cost-effective technology.
Richards recommends students sell the clickers on sites like eBay or Amazon.
Eight percent of the 1,550 faculty use clickers and approximately 30 percent of students utilize clickers in their classes.